Working With Josh Gad Prepared Leslie Odom, Jr. for His Role on CENTRAL PARK
Apple TV+ is set to debut Central Park, a brand new musical animated series from Josh Gad, Loren Bouchard, and Nora Smith. The series follows the Tillermans, a family that lives in Central Park. Owen, the park manager, and Paige, his journalist wife, raise their kids Molly and Cole in the world's most famous park, while fending off hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham and her long suffering assistant Helen, who would love nothing more than to turn the park into condos.
Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr., who is best-known for starring as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, voices Owen in the series. Odom, Jr. spoke about what prepared him the most for his role saying, "Nothing prepared me for working on this thing like having worked with Josh [Gad] for so long. Really having an understanding for how his mind works, how his comedy works. I was really excited and ready to jump in with both feet, because with Josh its always joyful, and irreverent, but there's also a real kindness that runs through the center of Josh's work."
Odom, Jr. also talked about getting to record with Gad when he said, "Every now and again I got to record with Josh. Josh and I both live in LA, we live walking distance from each other- we live five or six blocks away from each other- so every now and again I'd get to record the Birdie/Owen stuff with Josh and that was always my favorite."
Odom, Jr. shared that Josh Gad is also able to make him laugh like no other while they would be recording together. "Nobody makes me laugh like Josh, to my great dismay, it's like a superpower he has over me, that he can make me laugh no matter how much I dislike," he joked.
As an accomplished stage and screen performer, Odom, Jr. spoke about the opportunities that are available when recording for animation and shared, "There are NO LIMITS in animation. You're not bound by the limits of physics or even the limits of your own physicality. It is as wild, as outrageous, as ridiculous, as silly as you can make it. You don't have to be natural, or even honest. You can just be wacky from time to time, which is a lot of fun."
Central Park is based around the Tillermans, and Odom, Jr. opened up about what it was like to voice a character that is apart of such a strong and loving family, saying, "I grew up watching a lot of TV, and so I watched a lot of beautiful familial relationships on TV, and so the fact that I get to do TV and film now, its a treat, but it's nice to pour back into the well. I feel like took out so much water from that well growing up."
He continued, "This harkens back to a time that I remember well about families that we're watching on TV that had their stuff, they had their messiness. Owen and the Tillermans certainly have their messiness, but at the end of the day they love each other, and you never really worry that thats going to come apart. The love is definitely going to keep them together, they're bonded together for life."
Don't miss the debut of Central Park this Friday, May 29, exclusively on Apple TV+!